This paper (first reference) is the result of a class project I was part of
almost two years ago for CSCI 5417 Information Retrieval Systems. It builds
on a class project I did in CSCI 5832 Natural Language Processing and which
I presented at Wikimania '07. The project was very late as we didn't send
the final paper in until the day before new years. This technical report was
never really announced that I recall so I thought it would be interesting to
look briefly at the results. The goal of this paper was to break articles
down into surface features and latent features and then use those to study
the rating system being used, predict article quality and rank results in a
search engine. We used the [[random forests]] classifier which allowed us to
analyze the contribution of each feature to performance by looking directly
at the weights that were assigned. While the surface analysis was performed
on the whole english wikipedia, the latent analysis was performed on the
simple english wikipedia (it is more expensive to compute). = Surface
features = * Readability measures are the single best predictor of quality
that I have found, as defined by the Wikipedia Editorial Team (WET). The
[[Automated Readability Index]], [[Gunning Fog Index]] and [[Flesch-Kincaid
Grade Level]] were the strongest predictors, followed by length of article
html, number of paragraphs, [[Flesh Reading Ease]], [[Smog Grading]], number
of internal links, [[Laesbarhedsindex Readability Formula]], number of words
and number of references. Weakly predictive were number of to be's, number
of sentences, [[Coleman-Liau Index]], number of templates, PageRank, number
of external links, number of relative links. Not predictive (overall - see
the end of section 2 for the per-rating score breakdown): Number of h2 or
h3's, number of conjunctions, number of images*, average word length, number
of h4's, number of prepositions, number of pronouns, number of interlanguage
links, average syllables per word, number of nominalizations, article age
(based on page id), proportion of questions, average sentence length. :*
Number of images was actually by far the single strongest predictor of any
class, but only for Featured articles. Because it was so good at picking out
featured articles and somewhat good at picking out A and G articles the
classifier was confused in so many cases that the overall contribution of
this feature to classification performance is zero. :* Number of external
links is strongly predictive of Featured articles. :* The B class is highly
distinctive. It has a strong "signature," with high predictive value
assigned to many features. The Featured class is also very distinctive. F, B
and S (Stop/Stub) contain the most information.
:* A is the least distinct class, not being very different from F or G. =
Latent features = The algorithm used for latent analysis, which is an
analysis of the occurence of words in every document with respect to the
link structure of the encyclopedia ("concepts"), is [[Latent Dirichlet
Allocation]]. This part of the analysis was done by CS PhD student Praful
Mangalath. An example of what can be done with the result of this analysis
is that you provide a word (a search query) such as "hippie". You can then
look at the weight of every article for the word hippie. You can pick the
article with the largest weight, and then look at its link network. You can
pick out the articles that this article links to and/or which link to this
article that are also weighted strongly for the word hippie, while also
contributing maximally to this articles "hippieness". We tried this query in
our system (LDA), Google (site:en.wikipedia.org hippie), and the Simple
English Wikipedia's Lucene search engine. The breakdown of articles occuring
in the top ten search results for this word for those engines is: * LDA
only: [[Acid rock]], [[Aldeburgh Festival]], [[Anne Murray]], [[Carl
Radle]], [[Harry Nilsson]], [[Jack Kerouac]], [[Phil Spector]], [[Plastic
Ono Band]], [[Rock and Roll]], [[Salvador Allende]], [[Smothers brothers]],
[[Stanley Kubrick]]. * Google only: [[Glam Rock]], [[South Park]]. * Simple
only: [[African Americans]], [[Charles Manson]], [[Counterculture]], [[Drug
use]], [[Flower Power]], [[Nuclear weapons]], [[Phish]], [[Sexual
liberation]], [[Summer of Love]] * LDA & Google & Simple: [[Hippie]],
[[Human Be-in]], [[Students for a democratic society]], [[Woodstock
festival]] * LDA & Google: [[Psychedelic Pop]] * Google & Simple: [[Lysergic
acid diethylamide]], [[Summer of Love]] ( See the paper for the articles
produced for the keywords philosophy and economics ) = Discussion /
Conclusion = * The results of the latent analysis are totally up to your
perception. But what is interesting is that the LDA features predict the WET
ratings of quality just as well as the surface level features. Both feature
sets (surface and latent) both pull out all almost of the information that
the rating system bears. * The rating system devised by the WET is not
distinctive. You can best tell the difference between, grouped together,
Featured, A and Good articles vs B articles. Featured, A and Good articles
are also quite distinctive (Figure 1). Note that in this study we didn't
look at Start's and Stubs, but in earlier paper we did. :* This is
interesting when compared to this recent entry on the YouTube blog. "Five
Stars Dominate Ratings"
I think a sane, well researched (with actual subjects) rating system
well within the purview of the Usability Initiative. Helping people find and
create good content is what Wikipedia is all about. Having a solid rating
system allows you to reorganized the user interface, the Wikipedia
namespace, and the main namespace around good content and bad content as
needed. If you don't have a solid, information bearing rating system you
don't know what good content really is (really bad content is easy to spot).
:* My Wikimania talk was all about gathering data from people about articles
and using that to train machines to automatically pick out good content. You
ask people questions along dimensions that make sense to people, and give
the machine access to other surface features (such as a statistical measure
of readability, or length) and latent features (such as can be derived from
document word occurence and encyclopedia link structure). I referenced page
262 of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance to give an example of the
kind of qualitative features I would ask people. It really depends on what
features end up bearing information, to be tested in "the lab". Each word is
an example dimension of quality: We have "*unity, vividness, authority,
economy, sensitivity, clarity, emphasis, flow, suspense, brilliance,
precision, proportion, depth and so on.*" You then use surface and latent
features to predict these values for all articles. You can also say, when a
person rates this article as high on the x scale, they also mean that it has
has this much of these surface and these latent features.
= References =
- DeHoust, C., Mangalath, P., Mingus., B. (2008). *Improving search in
Wikipedia through quality and concept discovery*. Technical Report.
- Rassbach, L., Mingus., B, Blackford, T. (2007). *Exploring the
feasibility of automatically rating online article quality*. Technical
I have asked and received permission to forward to you all this most
excellent bit of news.
The linguist list, is a most excellent resource for people interested in the
field of linguistics. As I mentioned some time ago they have had a funding
drive and in that funding drive they asked for a certain amount of money in
a given amount of days and they would then have a project on Wikipedia to
learn what needs doing to get better coverage for the field of linguistics.
What you will read in this mail that the total community of linguists are
asked to cooperate. I am really thrilled as it will also get us more
linguists interested in what we do. My hope is that a fraction will be
interested in the languages that they care for and help it become more
relevant. As a member of the "language prevention committee", I love to get
more knowledgeable people involved in our smaller projects. If it means that
we get more requests for more projects we will really feel embarrassed with
all the new projects we will have to approve because of the quality of the
Incubator content and the quality of the linguistic arguments why we should
approve yet another language :)
NB Is this not a really clever way of raising money; give us this much in
this time frame and we will then do this as a bonus...
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: LINGUIST Network <linguist(a)linguistlist.org>
Date: Jun 18, 2007 6:53 PM
Subject: 18.1831, All: Call for Participation: Wikipedia Volunteers
LINGUIST List: Vol-18-1831. Mon Jun 18 2007. ISSN: 1068 - 4875.
Subject: 18.1831, All: Call for Participation: Wikipedia Volunteers
Moderators: Anthony Aristar, Eastern Michigan U <aristar(a)linguistlist.org>
Helen Aristar-Dry, Eastern Michigan U <hdry(a)linguistlist.org>
Reviews: Laura Welcher, Rosetta Project
The LINGUIST List is funded by Eastern Michigan University,
and donations from subscribers and publishers.
Editor for this issue: Ann Sawyer <sawyer(a)linguistlist.org>
To post to LINGUIST, use our convenient web form at
From: Hannah Morales < hannah(a)linguistlist.org >
Subject: Wikipedia Volunteers
-------------------------Message 1 ----------------------------------
Date: Mon, 18 Jun 2007 12:49:35
From: Hannah Morales < hannah(a)linguistlist.org >
Subject: Wikipedia Volunteers
As you may recall, one of our Fund Drive 2007 campaigns was called the
"Wikipedia Update Vote." We asked our viewers to consider earmarking their
donations to organize an update project on linguistics entries in the
English-language Wikipedia. You can find more background information on this
The speed with which we met our goal, thanks to the interest and generosity
our readers, was a sure sign that the linguistics community was enthusiastic
about the idea. Now that summer is upon us, and some of you may have a bit
leisure time, we are hoping that you will be able to help us get started on
Wikipedia project. The LINGUIST List's role in this project is a purely
organizational one. We will:
*Help, with your input, to identify major gaps in the Wikipedia materials or
pages that need improvement;
*Compile a list of linguistics pages that Wikipedia editors have identified
"in need of attention from an expert on the subject" or " does not cite any
references or sources," etc;
*Send out periodical calls for volunteer contributors on specific topics or
*Provide simple instructions on how to upload your entries into Wikipedia;
*Keep track of our project Wikipedians;
*Keep track of revisions and new entries;
*Work with Wikimedia Foundation to publicize the linguistics community's
We hope you are as enthusiastic about this effort as we are. Just to help us
get started looking at Wikipedia more critically, and to easily identify an
needing improvement, we suggest that you take a look at the List of
Many people are not listed there; others need to have more facts and
added. If you would like to participate in this exciting update effort,
respond by sending an email to LINGUIST Editor Hannah Morales at
hannah(a)linguistlist.org, suggesting what your role might be or which
entries you feel should be updated or added. Some linguists who saw our
on the Internet have already written us with specific suggestions, which we
share with you soon.
This update project will take major time and effort on all our parts. The
result will be a much richer internet resource of information on the breadth
depth of the field of linguistics. Our efforts should also stimulate
students to consider studying linguistics and to educate a wider public on
we do. Please consider participating.
Editor, Wikipedia Update Project
Linguistic Field(s): Not Applicable
LINGUIST List: Vol-18-1831
Over the last few months, a small team at the Wikimedia Foundation has been
working on a project that has been discussed by many people in our movement
for many years: building ‘enterprise grade’ services for the high-volume
commercial reusers of Wikimedia content. I am pleased to say that in a
remarkably short amount of time (considering the complexity of the issues:
technical, strategic, legal, and financial) we now have something worthy of
showing to the community, and we are asking for your feedback. Allow me to
introduce you to the Wikimedia Enterprise API project – formerly codenamed
While the general idea for Wikimedia Enterprise predates the current
movement strategy process, its recommendations identify an enterprise API
as one possible solution to both “Increase the sustainability of our
movement” and “Improve User Experience.” That is, to simultaneously
create a new revenue stream to protect Wikimedia’s sustainability, and
improve the quality and quantity of Wikimedia content available to our many
readers who do not visit our websites directly (including more consistent
attribution). Moreover, it does so in a way that is true to our movement’s
culture: with open source software, financial transparency, non-exclusive
contracts or content, no restrictions on existing services, and free access
for Wikimedia volunteers who need it.
The team believes we are on target to achieve those goals and so we have
written a lot of documentation to get your feedback about our progress and
where it could be further improved before the actual product is ‘launched’
in the next few months. We have been helped in this process over the last
several months by approximately 100 individual volunteers (from many
corners of the wikiverse) and representatives of affiliate organisations
who have reviewed our plans and provided invaluable direction, pointing out
weaknesses and opportunities, or areas lacking clarity and documentation in
our drafts. Thank you to everyone who has shared your time and expertise to
help prepare this new initiative.
A essay describing the “why?” and the “how?” of this project is now on
Also now published on Meta are an extensive FAQ, operating principles, and
technical documentation on MediaWiki.org. You can read these at   and
 respectively. Much of this documentation is already available in
French, German, Italian, and Spanish.
The Wikimedia Enterprise team is particularly interested in your feedback
on how we have designed the checks and balances to this project - to ensure
it is as successful as possible at achieving those two goals described
above while staying true to the movement’s values and culture. For example:
Is everything covered appropriately in the “Principles” list? Is the
technical documentation on MediaWiki.org clear? Are the explanations in the
“FAQ” about free-access for community, or project’s legal structure, or the
financial transparency (etc.) sufficiently detailed?
Meet the team and Ask Us Anything:
The central place to provide written feedback about the project in general
is on the talkpage of the documentation on Meta at:
On this Friday (March 19) we will be hosting two “Office hours”
conversations where anyone can come and give feedback or ask questions:
13:00 UTC via Zoom at https://wikimedia.zoom.us/j/95580273732
22:00 UTC via Zoom at https://wikimedia.zoom.us/j/92565175760 (note:
this is Saturday in Asia/Oceania)
Other “office hours” meetings can be arranged on-request on a technical
platform of your choosing; and we will organise more calls in the future.
We will also be attending the next SWAN meetings (on March 21)
also the next of the Wikimedia Clinics
Moreover, we would be very happy to accept any invitation to attend an
existing group call that would like to discuss this topic (e.g. an
affiliate’s members’ meeting).
On behalf of the Wikimedia Enterprise team,
Peace, Love & Metadata
-- Liam Wyatt [Wittylama], Wikimedia Enterprise project community liaison.
*Liam Wyatt [Wittylama]*
WikiCite <https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/WikiCite> Program Manager & Wikimedia
Enterprise <https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Okapi> Community Liaison
Dear friends and colleagues
Please permit me to publicise an academic conference that we're holding at
Hong Kong Baptist University on 15-17 December 2021.
The conference will be an ideal forum in which to discuss research
methodologies, issues of collaborativity, theoretical frameworks that have
proven valuable for the study of Wikipedia translation, the use of
Wikipedia in the translation classroom and by translation professionals,
and the nature of Wikipedia translation and how it differs not only from
other more traditional types of translation but also from other newly
emerging types. While the conference's main focus is interlingual
translation within the online encyclopaedia, we are also interested
in research into the multilingual Wikipedia that makes no explicit
reference to translation issues.
The conference will be online, face-to-face or mixed mode, depending on
prevailing circumstances. Please see the conference website at
https://ctn.hkbu.edu.hk/wikiconf2021/ for full details and the Call for
I hope to see some of you there!
Professor Mark Shuttleworth 夏致遠
Department of Translation, Interpreting and Intercultural Studies
Hong Kong Baptist University
Phone: +852 3411 6641
message (including any attachments) may contain
information intended for a specific individual and/or
purpose. If you
are not the intended recipient, please delete this message
the sender and the University immediately. Any disclosure,
distribution of this message, or the taking of any action
based on it,
is prohibited as it may be unlawful.
University specifically denies any responsibility for the
quality of information obtained through University E-mail
views and opinions expressed in the email(s) are those
of the author(s),
and do not necessarily represent the views and
opinions of the University.
The University accepts no liability
whatsoever for any losses or damages
that may be incurred or caused to
any party as a result of the use of such
The Board of Trustees’ Community Affairs Committee
(CAC) is hosting its first office hour on May 13, 2021 at 19:00 UTC (check
for your local time <https://zonestamp.toolforge.org/1620928828>)!
Now in more details:
What are we announcing?
The CAC is a new Board of Trustees
committee established to assess, explore and address current and future
community-related efforts. The Committee's Charter
lists its full responsibilities, with the first 3 being a priority for this
As part of our commitment to foster better communications with the
Wikimedia Movement Community, and based on feedback received from community
members requesting more availability from the Board of Trustees, the CAC
will be hosting its first Office hours.
When & Where?
The Office hours will be held on May 13 2021, at 19:00 UTC (check for your
local time <https://zonestamp.toolforge.org/1620928828>) via Zoom. At least
3 Trustees, as well as relevant WMF staff will be in attendance. The
session will be streamed live and recorded, so those who cannot participate
live will be able to watch later.
How will it work?
The meeting will last for 60 minutes and an additional 30 minutes of an
“open room”. The first 60 minutes will be divided into 45 minutes of
structured Q & A (based on either updates from the CAC and questions sent
by the community in advance). The final 15 minutes will be in the “ask us
anything” format, with live participation. We will be monitoring live
YouTube, Wikipedia Weekly Facebook group
<https://www.facebook.com/groups/553393111375191> and the Wikimedia General
Chat Telegram group <https://t.me/WikimediaGeneral> and the talk page on
The structure is meant to enable the CAC to not only update the community
on current matters the Board is working on, but also hear directly from the
community, which will help inform the Committee’s future work.
Setting the agenda with your Questions
In order to be as efficient as possible, and since we anticipate that some
questions will require answers from WMF Staff, we are encouraging community
members to send questions in advance. Please send all questions to
askcac(a)wikimedia.org, by Friday, May 7th (midnight, whatever time zone you
may be in). The office hour agenda will be based on the main topics related
to the questions received. We will share this agenda on Meta
on May 12, including final names of Trustees in attendance.
How to register?
For security reasons and specifically to avoid Zoombombing
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zoombombing>, we will be sending the Zoom
link only to people who have registered in advance close to the meeting. In
order to register, please send an email to askcac(a)wikimedia.org, indicating
your name, username, affiliation if you have any. The title should be:
“Registration for the May 13th CAC Office Hours”.
Please note --
This is the first time that the Board is attempting something of the
sort. This is an experiment. We’ll see how it goes - how many people are
interested in attending, timing, translation needs etc -- and make
decisions about future meetings / changes to format accordingly.
The session will be moderated based on the Universal Code of Conduct
Universally blocked users will not be allowed in the room, but can still
participate by watching live and sending questions in real-time.
Please help us spread the word by sharing this message with your local /
Hoping to see as many of you as possible,
Shani Evenstein Sigalov
Chair, Community Affairs Committee
Board of Trustees, Wikimedia Foundation.
Shani Evenstein Sigalov
Board of Trustees
Wikimedia Foundation <https://wikimediafoundation.org/>
According to the recent Independent Auditors' Report of the WMF , at
some point prior to the end of June 2020, an entity called the "Wikimedia
Knowledge Equity Fund" was established, and $8.723 million was transferred
to it by the WMF, in the form of an unconditional grant. The Fund is
"managed and controlled by Tides Advocacy" (a 501(c)(4) advocacy nonprofit
previously led by the WMF's current General Counsel/Board Secretary, who
served as CEO, Board Secretary, and Treasurer there). Given that a Google
search for "Wikimedia Knowledge Equity Fund" yields zero results prior to
the release of the report, it is clear that the WMF kept this significant
move completely secret for over five months, perhaps over a year. The
Report FAQ additionally emphasizes that the WMF "has no right of return to
the grant funds provided, with the exception of unexpended funds."
The WMF unilaterally and secretly transferred nearly $9 million of movement
funds to an outside organization not recognized by the Affiliations
Committee. No mention of the grant was made in any Board resolutions or
minutes from the relevant time period. The amount was not mentioned in the
public annual plan, which set out rather less than this amount for the
entire grantmaking budget for the year. No application was made through any
of the various Wikimedia grants processes. No further information has been
provided on the administration of this new Fund, or on the text of the
I am appalled.
-- Yair Rand
COVID-19 has hit hard in India again making it the leading epicentre of the
disease caused by the new mutated strains. The infection and death tolls
have reached record high and the health system in different parts of the
country is on the verge of collapse.
Like other common people, many Wikimedians might have lost their jobs last
year. Like last year, this year too, many volunteers have been infected and
hospitalised. Some of them have lost their family members, relatives,
friends and other dear ones.
Volunteer online community is the heart of our movement and every
dedicated, experienced and long-term volunteers are our most valuable
asset. It is not at all exaggerating to say that many language Wikimedia
projects or WikiProjects are dependent completely on one (or two or
three...) person's persistence to build it as a tall building from scratch
and if we lose some of those people, those projects might totally stop
forever. There are so many fantastic people in the movement who have been
doing incredible work in their volunteer capacity for such a long time
(sometimes more than a decade) to make what Wikimedia is today.
I would like to urge people with power and money in the movement to find a
way to protect these assets. We not only cannot afford to lose them, but
also need to proactively protect them. Maybe a small step to provide
personal or family COVID-19 insurance might help a lot. Maybe sending money
to buy COVID-19 vaccines might save some of them. Who knows?
If we can spend millions of dollars for conferences or a couple of hundred
thousand dollars to celebrate 20 years of Wikipedia during Wikimania, can
we not spend a few thousand dollars to protect at least some of the people
around the globe to some extent who made it possible to turn Wikipedia into
its 20th birthday?
Disclaimer: I had tried to convince the grants team from my personal
capacity last year when COVID-19 was spreading rapidly in India but was
denied due to their legal concerns regarding insurance registration as well
as settlement and liability issues. Few others tried to convince them too
but failed. I am reaching out to the community to start a conversation this
time and find a way together.
I am sorry for my long mail. I could not help it.
Join the Research Team at the Wikimedia Foundation  for their monthly
Office hours on 2021-05-04 at 16:00-17:00 UTC (9am PT/6pm CET).
To participate, join the video-call via this link . There is no set
agenda - feel free to add your item to the list of topics in the etherpad
 (You can do this after you join the meeting, too.), otherwise you are
welcome to also just hang out. More detailed information (e.g. about how to
attend) can be found here .
Through these office hours, we aim to make ourselves more available to
answer some of the research related questions that you as Wikimedia
volunteer editors, organizers, affiliates, staff, and researchers face in
your projects and initiatives. Some example cases we hope to be able to
support you in:
You have a specific research related question that you suspect you
should be able to answer with the publicly available data and you don’t
know how to find an answer for it, or you just need some more help with it.
For example, how can I compute the ratio of anonymous to registered editors
in my wiki?
You run into repetitive or very manual work as part of your Wikimedia
contributions and you wish to find out if there are ways to use machines to
improve your workflows. These types of conversations can sometimes be
harder to find an answer for during an office hour, however, discussing
them can help us understand your challenges better and we may find ways to
work with each other to support you in addressing it in the future.
You want to learn what the Research team at the Wikimedia Foundation
does and how we can potentially support you. Specifically for affiliates:
if you are interested in building relationships with the academic
institutions in your country, we would love to talk with you and learn
more. We have a series of programs that aim to expand the network of
Wikimedia researchers globally and we would love to collaborate with those
of you interested more closely in this space.
You want to talk with us about one of our existing programs .
Hope to see many of you,
Martin on behalf of the WMF Research Team